An Unexpected Canter

The weekend just been was a really nice and chilled out one. I did a bit of cycling (I managed to clock up over 100 miles in this past week), been horse riding twice and bought a kick-ass pair of sandals. šŸ™‚

Seasalt sandals
Love these sandals! Coveted them since a mate got a pair of yellow ones and then Franca on Oranges and Apples got some too, well obviously I needed some šŸ™‚

I took one of my non-riding buddies to the stables I have been hacking at on the Saturday, the pictures below are courtesy of her. She really enjoyed it and managed some great trots including one on the beach. I also had an unexpected canter where one of the leaders and I held back to trot to catch up and Anna, the cheeky minx, just hared off in canter. I froze, a lot, and could hear the lovely helper shouting just pull her back to trot – I managed to get her to trot twice but each time I relaxed the rein off we went again! I did the whole stretch in rising canter! So to say my nerves were back would be a nice way to put it! On the plus side, I was perfectly balanced and I did get her listening to me eventually. After that fun I went for another trot with the other leader round the field to get me feel a little more in control and I definitely started to relax. Once on the beach I did feel a bit more nervous again so I did a few lead rein trots to get my nerves back under control and a couple of times Anna did try to canter but I checked her.

So in my “every ride is positive” vein here are a couple of positives from that:

  • I was balanced and felt ok during the canter
  • I did an unaided trot afterwards in full control
  • I did do some breathing techniques to try and calm me
  • the beach was wonderfully quiet
  • Anna strides out like a boss when walking, we are always at the front

I’ve booked into the stables again for a couple of weeks time and the leader is thinking we should do some work just the two of us with some short canter work before rejoining the group and doing a wee group canter. This sounds like a great idea to me, I don’t want an outside canter to become a stumbling block in my head.

Horses in front of bass rock Horses on the beach

On Sunday I was off for a lesson. I nearly missed the start of my lesson due to the traffic jams on the way out of Edinburgh which meant I had to cycle like a demon for the rest of the route. I was given Tx again (yippee) and we had a different instructor to our normal one. She was really nice, but all the horses were playing up with B haring about like a mad un and P doing his leaping in the air tricks, Td joined in on the action trying desperately to canter off constantly – honestly it was getting a little odd. Tx didn’t do much except throw his head about and I pretty much over-thought things while waiting in file to do the pole exercise until I was sure I was about to be carted off round the school at the speed of light (which was daft to be worry about since I had cantered off on the Saturday and I was fine). Again I am looking for the positives and I have these so far:

  • I had a lovely active trot going prior to going into standing file to go over the poles
  • I improved my lines across the poles
  • After getting nervous and the instructor being alongside me to trot over the poles, I then asked her to move away and let me try to canter – we had a terrible transition and only about half a stride of canter but the fact is I chose to do it!

On a different note I thought that my classmates did really well with the horses that really were playing up. The instructor was really good too, she had spoken about putting up a jump but then realised that given the way the horses were being she decided to keep us on poles only! She explained that some days you just can’t do what you had planned with your horse, that you have to ride the horse you have that day and sometimes you just have to work on control. I liked that idea! I was frustrated a bit with myself as I really didn’t ever want to have my nerves with Tx but hey! I have plans to try and work on my canter issues, I had a really nice canter going and I want it back! I have a private lesson on Thursday ahead of a weekend away with no horse riding at a festival, a week to try and reprogramme my brain – repeat after me “I can ride, I can ride, I CAN ride” šŸ™‚

On a sad note I was informed at the stables on Sunday that Tr has passed away, she was a bite-y horse on the ground but lovely to ride and just last week she was in lessons being her pretty pony-self. She had a beautiful jump and a lovely canter. I hadn’t ridden her for a while but I did enjoy riding her when I did, she was an older horse and had a lovely life and it has clearly left a whole in the stables. We did wonder if that might have been what had affected the horses, but we don’t know – her field buddy certainly looked lonely turned out by herself (Au shared a field with Mr K and Tr). So a salute to the Grumpiest Princess – you were always fun to ride and I hope I didn’t annoy you too much in the stable.

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